Microsoft made waves (the favorable kind) at E3 when it announced during its press conference that the Xbox One would finally support backwards compatibility for the back catalog of Xbox 360 games. It was a feature that a lot of people felt should have been present from the console’s launch, but it’s better late than never!
Microsoft recently confirmed via Xbox Support that DLC for your Xbox 360 games will also be supported, at the discretion of the publisher. Similarly, online multiplayer will also be possible, assuming that the publisher continues to keep the relevant servers running. Cloud saves and Achievement will also be carried over to the new console.
With multiplayer and DLC support confirmed, it looks like playing Xbox 360 games on the Xbox One will be a fully-supported experience. With the addition of new features specific to the Xbox One, such as the ability to capture in-game screenshots, this could actually become the best platform for playing these last-generation titles, which is no doubt part of Microsoft’s plan to convince holdouts that it’s time for a hardware upgrade.
Digital titles can be re-downloaded from the Xbox Live Store, while those on physical discs will be loaded to the hard drive after insertion. There is currently a small selection of games available to Xbox Preview users, such as Perfect Dark Zero, Mass Effect, and Super Meat Boy, though no DLC yet. When the service launches in full for the general public this fall, there will be over 100 games ready, with more to come in subsequent batch updates.
Sony was as surprised as the rest of us at Microsoft’s announcement, apparently, as Sony Worldwide Studios Shuhei Yoshida told Eurogamer. “I didn’t think it was possible. There must be lots of engineering effort. They talked about 100 games, but what kind of games will be included? Is it smaller games or big games? We don’t know.”
As for whether a similar feature will come to PlayStation 4, prospects don’t look good in the foreseeable future: “PS3 is such a unique architecture, and some games made use of SPUs very well,” Yoshida said in addressing the issue. “It’s going to be super challenging to do so. I never say never, but we have no plans.”